As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the minister said last month that a decision would be made one way or the other before summer, while expressing that he was "cautious" about the fish farming industry.
But he would not be pressed for a specific date despite repeated prompts in the Dáil last week from former minister Eamon Ó Cuiv.
“I have put those who are considering this application under some pressure to try to get those recommendations onto my desk," said Minister Coveney, "but I am far more concerned about getting the decision right than I am about getting a decision made quickly on an application of that size and scale."
The minister also made reference to his approval of shellfish aquaculture schemes - with 278 decisions made since he took office – while he has not approved any new fish farming schemes in spite of a growing backlog of applications.
“When we get a system working, which we now have for shellfish, I will make decisions as soon as I have a scientific, sound basis to do so," he said.
The Connacht Tribune has more on the story HERE.